There will be 6 parts to the exam: 1) 2) 3) 4) and 5) will consist of passages for identification and commentary and will be worth 50% of your grade. Section 6 will be a post-midterm essay worth 20%; Section 7 will be a comprehensive essay worth 30%.
Passages for identification and comment in each section will be drawn
from the following areas. Two to four passages will be offered in each
section. You will be asked to write on one passage per section. Identify
(where appropriate) the author, the work, where in the work the passage
occurs; comment on features of style and on the relevance of the passage
to important themes in the work, in the author's work as a whole, or in
Greek literature as a whole. Each is worth 10%.
Section 1: Sophocles
Section 2: Euripides
Section 3: Aristophanes
Section 4: History and Rhetoric
Section 5: Plato & Post-classical
Essay Topics: These are general topics from which the essay questions on the exam will be drawn. The actual wording of the questions will differ on the exam, and you will be graded on your ability to answer the question as worded on the exam. Additional factors that will go into determining your grade:
b) citation of specific examples from the texts read to support all assertions
c) ability to cite the best examples to support your assertions
d) accuracy in matters of fact
FIVE of the following topics will appear on the exam. You will write on TWO; in at least one of the two essays that you write you should draw on material from the entire course. This will be your COMPREHENSIVE essay. You will be free to choose which topic you wish to cover comprehensively, but you should write "COMPREHENSIVE" in front of the one you want to be graded as a comprehensive essay. In the questions that follow, parts of the questions that are enclosed (in parenthesis marks) are ones that only need to be addressed if you are answering that question as your comprehensive question.
1. How does Athenian literature of the classical period reflect the wars, social trends, political developments and other historical circumstances of the period in which it was produced (how does the literature of classical Athens compare in this respect to Greek literature of other eras)?
2. Which of the Athenian tragedies, other than Oedipus the King most closely follows Aristotle's guidelines for the ideal tragedy? Could the characteristics that Aristotle ascribes to the ideal tragedy also be found in works of other genres of the Classical (and non-Classical) period(s)?
3. What are the distinctive features of the various genres of Greek literature we have read since the midterm (this semester). To what extent are not just form and meter and occasion, but also topics, themes and outlooks genre-specific?
4. Throughout this half of the semester (whole semester), we have seen types of literature that were intended for performance or reading before a large and diverse audience and other types that were intended for private reading or performance among a limited elite/educated group. What comparisons and constrasts can be drawn between these two types of literature?
5. The classical period saw the emergence of literature in the form of prose. To what sorts of purposes was this new way of writing put, and what similarities and differences did it have with poetry of the classical period (and other periods)?
6. How do classical (and non-classical) Greek authors approach the subject of the gods, the relationship between gods and humans, and the related notions of fate and justice? Does the answer to this question change from period to period, from genre to genre, or from author to author?
7. Hesiod quotes the Muses as claiming that they, the goddesses of poetry, have the power to tell the truth as well as to tell lies that seem like the truth. This self-referential statement is one of the earliest examples of what will be an important trend in Greek literature: a marked self-consciousness concerning the power and the importance of the literary arts. How is this trend manifested in the literature of the classical periods (and other periods)?
8. Hesiod quotes the Muses as claiming that they, the goddesses
of poetry, have the power to tell the truth as well as to tell lies that
seem like the truth (yes, this is a different question from number 7).
Discuss truth-telling as a theme in literature of the classical period
(and other periods). You may address examples where truth-telling,
or its opposite, is an important element in stories that the literature
relates; and you may also discuss the extent to which particular authors
viewed truth-telling as the purpose of their literary efforts.